Bad battery or????? Strange electrical adventure

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Whole system goes dead. No lights, no radio. Dead. Then it comes back. Figured battery. This morning it went off (dead) when I was in the middle of parking at a restaurant. Open the hood, shook the battery
and it came back to life.
Took the battery back to Walmart (I know, I know) and they could find no problem. I know its unlikely, but /could/ it be something else?
TIA for any input.
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F.H. wrote:

In what kind of vehicle...
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wrote:

First things first - check the battery connections. Then the cables. An intermittent intercell connection would not be the first one - but would not be the first thing I assumed either.
When it is "dead" try a test light directly from post to post -( not clamp(or connector, or cable))
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snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in

start by cleaning your batt. conections. sounds like a innertiment ground to me. KB
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Good advice. Checking connections is cheap, easy and generally the last thing that people think about checking, me included.
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On Sat, 3 Dec 2011 12:53:04 -0800, "Guv Bob"

First thing a mechanic checks.Licenced mechanic since 1971
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On 12/3/2011 1:15 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Thanks for all the input. Sorry I forgot to mention 97 4.6 T-bird.
Connections are clean. It hasn't given me the dead no response reaction again but I think it will when I least expect it. I stashed a test light in the console. Found out something interesting about a Walmart warranty. The had already replaced the first on free after two years (three year full warranty). This one was exempt after one year because the warranty is 3 years total no matter how many batteries crap out (according to the manager).
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On 12/3/2011 8:25 PM, F.H. wrote:

MN12 T-Birds have a colorful electrical history, not as colorful as the Mark 8 but still colorful.
If the battery swap doesn't do it and the battery tray is clean check the cables at the starter motor, alternator, and then perhaps the ignition switch.
When I got my new 95 T-Bird LX 4.6 home from the dealer I spent some time rummaging thru the NHTSA recall and consumer complaint databases. At the time there were considerable complaints of fires. I went over and under the engine compartment and found a bunch of potential wiring harness wear points (direct contact with engine) and gently adjusted / tie wrapped or covered the spots as a precaution.
So far so good over the past 16 years.
www.tccoa.com is always a great place to check for t-bird bug reports.
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On 12/3/2011 6:27 PM, Steve Stone wrote:

Thanks, much appreciated.
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wrote:

That is the case with virtually ALL warrantys. You buy the item (battery in this case) and if it has a 3 year warranty and dies the day before the 3 years are up you get a new (battery) - with one day of warranty.
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On 12/3/2011 8:56 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Live and learn.
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From: snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net (F.H.)
Whole system goes dead. No lights, no radio. Dead. Then it comes back. Figured battery. This morning it went off (dead) when I was in the middle of parking at a restaurant. Open the hood, shook the battery and it came back to life. Took the battery back to Walmart (I know, I know) and they could find no problem. I know its unlikely, but /could/ it be something else? TIA for any input.
===> it's common for the battery acid to seep into those covered battery connectors over time and corrode them and they look good on a visual glance.
moving them around just breaks up the corrosion some under their protective cover and the cable makes contact and that is why you aren't having any troubles, but when you least expect it, the corrosion will build back up and you will left with a no power response.
most of the time, it's the positive lead. to be safe, it doesn't cost much for new battery cables and you're done with the problem.
look at the overall problem. you had a no power start up. shaking the battery brought everything back to life. took battery in - checked out fine - so what's left? answer - what is attached to the battery.....? battery cables....
another point to consider is that since this is a 1997 model, those cables have been exposed for 14 years of the chance for them to corrode..
hope this helps.
~ curtis
knowledge is power - growing old is mandatory - growing wise is optional "Many more men die with prostate cancer than of it. Growing old is invariably fatal. Prostate cancer is only sometimes so." http://community.webtv.net/PALMER_ENT/doc
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Batterys bad. I've had 3 batteries in 5 yrs. do the same, internal connector failure. 2 Auto Zone and one Die Hard went the same way, smack it or jostle it and power comes back on, just like a UFO flew over. LOL And when the internal connector is making contact they will test good BTW. More common now with the "low lead" batteries of today.
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On Sun, 4 Dec 2011 08:43:51 -0500, "repairman54"

Interesting - all "johnson controls" batteries, I believe. Mine was an Interstate Megatron - (also a Johnson Controls built battery)
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On 12/4/2011 5:43 AM, repairman54 wrote:

Thanks. I checked out Auto Zone before I went back to Walmart and they had three levels of quality with different prices and warranties. Do you happen to recall from which group you bought your 2 batteries.
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I always buy a minimum of a 60 month battery. AZ is off my list now, 3yr free replacement then it's pro rated. Last failed battery they wanted over half the battery cost on the pro rate to replace it. And that was a replacement battery for a previous failed battery.
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On 12/6/2011 4:01 AM, repairman54 wrote:

Thanks for the feedback.
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wrote:

I'd MUCH rather have a good battery with a one year warranty than a piece of crap with a 5 year warranty. The warranty is usually more hassle than it's worth - particularly when the battery it is attached to fails 6 times in 5 years.
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Previous Die Hard in a different vehicle lasted me 9 yrs, it was a 60 month battery. I've always had batteries well exceed the warranty period. Only time I buy a cheap one is when I have to put one in a vehicle that's on it's way out.
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On Wed, 7 Dec 2011 07:24:25 -0500, "repairman54"

I had 3 premium Canadian Tire batteries fail in 3 years. 5 year warranty. Never bought another one. Never will.
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